Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Loggerhead Turtle in Crete

As visitors to Crete, we all have a responsibility to help to preserve the indigenous environment and species. That is why Pure Crete has pioneered schemes to help protect the endangered loggerhead turtle in Crete.
Turtles have existed since the dinosaurs - some 200 million years - but now face the threat of extinction unless stretches of beach where they lay their eggs are protected from disturbance. That is why Pure Crete funded a turtle hatchery, in Gerani on the north-west coast of Crete, through the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.
Loggerhead turtles grow up to 100kg in weight and 90cm in length. Each population is genetically distinctive, and hatcheries enable the stretch of beach to which they habitually return to be protected.
The Loggerhead turtles around Crete nest from the end of May to mid-August. Each adult female lays eggs every 2 or 3 years, and may lay 120 eggs at a time, twice or three times in that season. If a turtle is disturbed by human activity when she comes ashore she will postpone her egg-laying and ultimately abort her eggs in the sea where they will be lost. In any case, only one in a thousand hatchlings entering the sea survive to adulthood due to predatory seabirds and fish and it then takes between fifteen and twenty years for a turtle to reach sexual maturity!
It is therefore important to protect the nesting habitat of the Loggerhead turtle and we hope that you support the work Pure Crete has done to ensure eggs are successfully laid and hatched.